תמונות בעמוד


“ wishing that his death should be as where the congress was now in full swing. voluptuous as his life, commanded soft He bere met an old friend, Mr. Merry, music to be played, and fine poetry to be who introduced him to the English ambasrecited to him in his last moments ;” and sador, Lord Castlereagh, with whom he died on December 13th in the arms of his became very intimate. He had by now friends. His obsequies were celebrated dropped his title of prince, but by the with full military state, and in spite of the exercise of his old arts still retained his sincere regret felt for him, his kindness in position in society. There were few funcproviding society with so imposing a spec- tions of the congress in which he did not tacle at that identical time was universally take a prominent share. But he was coldacknowledged.

ly received, except at the English Em. As might have been expected, the list bassy, and the Prince de Ligne, when inof visitors to Vienna included many per- troducing himn to Madame de Stäel, slyly sons whose social position and private whispered : “ Je vous présente un homme character were not quite faultless. So qui n'est pas présentable.” George Aïde brilliant a reunion of rank and wealth returned to England after the congress and afforded a rich bunting-ground for adven- married an heiress, Miss Collier. After turers of every kind.

his marriage he went to Paris, where he The most singular of these was a certain was shot in a duel, caused solely by his George Aïde, " ex-prince of Mount Leb- own rudenese, hy a M. de Bombelles. anon. He was the son of an Armenian It would be impossible within the limits merchant, settled at Constantinople. The of a single short essay to recount even the latter, in return for a rich donation to the names of all the striking characters whom Catholic monastery of Mount Lebanon, Vienna gathered within its walls during had received from the Pope the Order of the winter of 1814. It remains to say a the Golden Spur. He sent his son George few words about the political work of the to Vienna to study European languages congress. To one fresh from the heroism and perfect himself in the details of com. and bloodshed of Leipzig, the transition

But these possessed little attrac- to the tinsel glories of Vicnna is like the tion for the young man's aspiring mind. farce succeeding the tragedy. “Never," Nature had intended him to shine in the says Lagarde,” had such important and great world, and he was resolved to obey complicated interests been discussed amid its promptings. Soon, therefore, after his so much gayety and dissipation.” The arrival at Vienna, he assumed the title of universal frivolity penetrated to the politPrince of Mount Lebanon ; and by dint ical deliberations of the congress. Called of a handsome face and figure, a fixed air on to settle the affairs of Europe after a of calm assurance, and an extraordinary period of unprecedented upheaval, the aspromptness to avenge the slightest insult sembled statesmen knew of no modes of by an appeal to arms, he at length obtained action save intrigue and chicanery, of no a footing in Austrian society. After some political ideal save the equilibrium of time he received a summons home. On dynastic interests. As time passed on, arriving at Constantinople he explained to and the diplomatic wrangle grew worse his father the absolute impossibility of his and worse, people began to wonder for ever settling down to a commercial life, what purpose the congress had met at all. and obtained leave to travel. IIe first visited Palermo, where he made friends wife, seem to be unchained to destroy our

“ All the base passions,” wrote Stein to his with the Hon. Frederick North, son of the hopes and throw us back into new complicaEarl of Guildford. From Sicily, armed tions. . . . It is now the time of littlenesses with letters of introduction to various and mediocrities; they all turn up again, and members of the English aristocracy, he reoccupy their old place, and those men who

have risked their all are forgotten and neglectpassed to London. He there obtained a ed." great reputation as a leader of fashion. At last his father refused any longer to an For this state of things no one was swer his inordinate demands for money, more responsible than Prince Metternich. and the Prince of Mount Lebanon found That light-hearted genius had received the himself compelled, like Napoleon after the post of Austrian States-Chancellor (primeburning of Moscow, to beat a retreat. minister) in 1810. Possessed of a graceHis genius naturally led him to Vienna, ful figure, a winning address, and a pair

of fascinating blue eyes, Metternich was in XVIII. There was something unearthly his youth the very model of a gay Lo- in the ex-bishop's glassy stare and sardonic thario. He laid the foundation of his humor. “ Talleyrand will never die,' greatness by a marriage with the unlovely Pozzo di Borgo used to say, parceque le daughter of the all-powerful Kaunitz, in diable en a peur,Good Miss Berry drew 1795. At Dresden, whither he was sent her virtuous skirts close together when she as Austrian Envoy in 1801, he surpassed met him. all his competitors in gallantry. As Austrian Ambassador at Paris in 1806 he won

“ Talleyrand! Could you see him !" she

writes in her diary. “Such a nass of moral the heart of Caroline Murat. At a time and physical corruption as be appears in my when politics and society were synony- eyes, inspires me with sentiments so far from mous, the recommendations of his fair ad- those with which I look up to great minds and mirers greatly contributed to his advance- great exertions, that I should be very sorry to

be obliged to express what I feel about him." ment. But he also possessed an acuteness, vivacity and perseverance which, in The Allied Powers had hoped to comthe actual dearth of all first-class states- pletely exclude France from the most immen, amply justified his appointment to portant deliberations. But Talleyrand the highest post in the Austrian Empire. soon forced them to acknowledge her as Metternich always held that in public an equal. The course of events increased affairs the only thing to be dreaded was his influence. The King of Saxony, in failure. He disliked men of solid attain- return for his alliance with Napoleon, had ments. Zeal, patriotism, public spirit, in 1807 received the Polish provinces of were to him things to be sedulously avoid- Prussia under the designation of the ed, save as means to an end. Metternich Grand-Duchy of Warsaw. In 1809 he did not possess the constructive talents of had received a further accession of terriKaunitz. He had no sympathy with the tory at the cost of Austrian Galicia. It generous ideals of Count Philip Stadion. was now proposed by Russia and Prussia But he was never capable of the colossal that he should be punished by being decynicism of his successor, Prince Felix prived of his dominions ; Saxony going to Schwartzenburg ; and in the attainment of Prussia, the Grand-Duchy of Warsaw to a definite purpose by purely diplomatic the Tsar. This scheme was resolutely methods he has never been surpassed. opposed by Metternich, who gained the Metternich never had any real antipathy support of the English Ministers. Talleyto France, with which he wished Austria rand was delighted at the discord in the to be allied, as a counterpoise to Russia. allied camp. He secretly inflamed the He therefore strongly supported the mar. growing animosity which would naturally riage of Napoleon with Marie Louise. His result in making France the arbiter of policy after the defeat of Napoleon in Rus- Europe. When the division was complete, sia, in its superb selfishness, its indifference he threw in his lot with Austria and Engto all side issues, and its masterly use of land. But he did more than offer them Napoleon's own errors, is a triumph of material aid ; he gave them a war-cry. diplomatic genius. Now that the war was Stein had passionately demanded the conover, Metternich's position was assured. fiscation of Saxony as a retribution for her To his subtle mind the confusion of the king's gross treason to the German nation. congress was a matter of congratulation. Talleyrand now declared that the French Delighting in mystification and finesse, he Revolution had inaugurated a struggle beloved to steer his way through its sboals tween Legitimacy and Jacobinism. The and eddies, and found in the universal defeat of the Revolution in the

person of jealousy and distrust a fit field for the Napoleon implied the triumph of Legitiexercise of his skill.

macy. To rob a lawful king of his dominFrom an artistic point of view it is to ions therefore would be a fatal return to be regretted that the political exigencies revolutionary principles. It is characterof the congress placed Talleyrand on his istic of the congress that Talleyrand's side. A passage at arms between these theory was only applied to cases where his two great adversaries would have been of special interests were concerned. The surpassing interest. In spite of his long unhappy heir of Gustavus IV. vainly deservice under the Empire, Talleyrand's manded his help toward restoring him to offers had been readily accepted by Louis the throne of Sweden. But Bernadotte's


treachery toward Napoleon had been of versatile States-Chancellor, for once in his too great service to the Bourbons to be life, was dumbfounded. But it would overlooked ; and the lucky French ar- have been madness to quarrel when Naposhal was left in undisturbed enjoyment of leon was about to burst into Belgium at his thirty pieces of silver.

the head of 120,000 men. Alexander The interest of the congress soon began threw the treaty into the fire, promised to centre round the question of Saxony. never to refer to the subject again, and Long and furious were the conferences extended his hand to the exposed plotter between Metternich and the Tsar. Alex- in an affecting but hypocritical reconciliaander, impatient of opposition, told every- tion. It is, however, almost certain that body that the Austrian Minister was a the return of Napoleon only prevented the miserable red-tapeist. He sneered at him congress ending in a general European in public, and exclaimed quite loud one The diplomatists were now comday, in his hearing, “I despise a man pelled to conclude their differences. In who does not wear a uniform !” The June, 1815, Napoleon was finally crushed English and Austrian Governments, with at Waterloo. In September the Holy the assistance of Talleyrand, drew up a Alliance was formed between Russia, Aussecret treaty, by which they bound them- tria, and Prussia. The last touches were selves to go to war against Russia and given to the new map of Europe, and the Prussia, unless the two latter abated their golden age, as Alexander fondly deemed demands. The treaty was sent to Paris it, at last began. for the French king's consideration. Sud Of the setilement made by the congress denly, in March, 1815, Napoleon returned of Vienna not a vestige remains. From to France. Louis XVIII. had to post off the cataclysm of the last twenty-five years to Belgium in such desperate hurry that the sovereigns and statesmen who met tohe left the treaty behind him at the gether in the winter of 1814 had learned Tuileries. Napoleon, hoping to still fur- nothing. The apostles of reaction, their ther increase the dissension anong the object, so far as any object shines through allies, gave it to the Russian envoy in the gloom of mutual distrust, was to restore Paris, who forwarded it to Vienna. Great the old state of things, and establish guar. was the astonishment of Alexander when antees for its continnance. The Revoluhe discovered that the hospitable Francis tionary Epoch had seen the birth of two had for the past few weeks been making great ideals, liberty and nationality. A careful preparations for war against him. system which affected to ignore them both He immediately sent for Metternich, and contained within itself the seeds of its own confronted him with his handiwork. The ruin.--Temple Bar,



Who is there who has not felt the the only time I gave way to the temptation charm, after a day's sight-seeing in some I was punished for my indiscretion in a foreign town, of going out of the glare way which I can never forget, and was and heat of the streets into the dimness called upon to solve a problem in casuistry and quiet of one of the old churches ? which might have taxed the skill of the For my own part, as a persistent sight-seer experienced confessor whose place I had and visitor of churches, I have often been usurped. tempted, when there resting, to secure I was travelling in Italy, and had come further retreat from publicity in one of to Florence, meaning to remain only for a the dark little confessionals which line the few days. The fascination of the place, walls. There is a strange attraction about however, which I had known well in years them, partly because they are so cool and past, held me strongly, and the days grew quiet, partly because of the experiences, into weeks. It was winter when I came, the tragedies, the penitence which those but now the spring was at hand, and the brown wooden walls have listened to. But wonderful bloom of flowers was begin

ning. One day, tired with roaring about, that you had committed a crime-a crime I had wandered into a church to rest. It against another woman. was not one of the great show churches, Ah, you call it a crime! Then it sketched by artists and visited by tourists must be-it must be—and I am guilty !” but a little quiet building in a narrow back And she flung herself down in an agony street, with nothing of much note in it of prayer and tears on the steps of an except a beautiful tomb by Mino da Fiesole, altar which stood close by. on which my eyes were wont to rest with I waited for a moment, then went to pleasure. I went close up to it, expecting her and said, “Let me belp you. You to find a bench on which I could sit for a thought you would find a priest ; I am little while, but the church was being not a priest, but I am a woman. Is there cleaned or prepared for some function, and not soinething I can do ? Tell me.' the benches had all been moved and put She raised herself and looked at me. aside in corners. I looked round for a "The Signora is good, I think ; but. chair, but none was to be seen, and at last I am in great trouble and great difficulty. I quietly opened the door of a confessional I thought I should find Father Girolaino. and sat down there, meaning to remain He is not here ; I fear he may be ill. I for a moment only. But I had walked heard something of it. And I must see far, the air was warm and relaxing, and some one, and ask for help.” the church dark, and I fell asleep. I know “ Then let me help you,” I said, as not how long I had slept, but suddenly I gently as I could. “I will consider all was aroused quickly and fully. It was no you tell me as the deepest secret. I will dream, I heard a voice close to me say- say nothing, I promise. Come with me, ing, “ Father, I have forged letters which and tell me what it is that troubles you. will ruin a woman's life !"

Then a pause.

The woman looked at me fixedly, then I looked through the grating at the side rose from her knces. “Yes, I will come,' of the confessional, and I could distinguish she said, simply. “I think the Holy a woman's form kneeling there. She Mother has sent you to me. I prayed so seemed to be waiting for something—the hard to her to send me help before I came priest's response, no doubt—for she was here. I see that you are good ; your silent for a moment, but afterward she eyes are kind ; I will tell you my trouble.” began, “ Father, hear me." I stepped Her voice trembled, and as she bent hastily from the confessional out into the down to kiss my hand, a tear fell on to church. My movement surprised her, for it. I drew her with me from the church, she looked round, and then, on seeing me, and in a few moments we were in my We looked at one another ; apartment.

She followed me quite quietthere was

but ourselves in the ly, and expressed either doubt por hesichurch. For a moment her anxiety as to tation. Evidently she had made up her what I might have heard, and my remorse mind to trust me with her difficulties, at having thus surprised a secret, kept us whatever they were.

She was a small silent. Then I said, “I am sorry, I am slender woman, with curly dark-brown very sorry ; there was no chair. I fell hair, and large lustrous eyes ;—not exactasleep. Will you forgive me?"

ly pretty, but with a very refined face, a She looked at me, and there was an look and expression which told of a nature expression of pathos and terror in her noble and generous, if also passionate and eyes which drew me to her. “Did the proud. I said, “I am going to ask you Signora hear ?" she asked.

to tell me your story from beginning to Oh, forgive me,” I answered—and I end, and let me try to help you.' put my hand on her arm-“forgive me ; "I will tell you all, Signora, from the yes, I heard-something. I think I ought beginning, but it is a long story. Will to tell you."

you have patience ?" “What did the Signora hear ?" she “ Yes, I want to hear it all; tell me. asked, still with the same curious calm. So she began, and this is ber story.

I was becoming much interested. The Francesca was at this time about twentywoman's unusual behavior, and her look of threc years of age. Three years before misery, showed me that something more she had married Andrea Vivaldi, a bookthan a common confession must have been binder by trade, and they lived together intended. I said, “I am afraid I heard very happily. Andrea's employment

started up.

no one

brought him in a comfortable though small “ Is the wound dangerous ?'' asked income, he had also a little money of his Francesca in a tremulous whisper. own, while Francesca was able to earn The man shrugged his shoulders. " It something by working at embroidery, for seems so," he said. which she had a special talent. She had “ But do they fear for his life ?" she been well educated, and her marriage with asked again. Andrea had been considered hardly good “He is very bad ; we have sent for a enough for her. But she loved him pas- doctor, but—" and another expressive sionately, and her choice had been justi- gesture followed. fied, for they were looked upon by all their “ Has the doctor come? Does he give friends as models of married love and hap- hope ?” piness. The only cloud on Francesca's * He does not,” the man said slowly, sky was that Andrea had no religion. his eyes cast down ; " he says he is Francesca berself was a deeply religious dying.' woman, whose life was governed by her “Ah! Santa Maria, dying !" cried faith ; but Andrea shared in the unbelief Francesca, pressing her hands to her common in Italian towns at the present heart. “ Has a priest been sent for !" day, and always put aside good-humored- she continued eagerly. ly, but firmly, her arguments and her “No, no priest; he said he would not efforts to induce bim to attend Mass or to see one, he wished only for you." go to confession. He was rather wild too, She rushed forward and entered the litand reckless sometimes, but she knew he tle squalid inner room. On a bed in the was really good and upright; and she corner lay Andrea, and she saw at once hoped and believed that in time, through that she had been told the truth, for his his love for her, he might be brought to white drawn face and pinched look showed see things as she did. Meanwhile their that the end could not be far off. She love and happiness seemed sufficient for threw herself on her knees by his side. them both.

Andrea, what is this, how has it bapOne day, some few months before I pened ?" she said with a sob. met her, she was surprised in her house The dying man lifted his hand and let by a violent knocking at the door. She it rest on her shoulder. “ Francesca, forhurried to open it, and found a small boy give me; I am dying ; I have something who had brought a note, written in An to say to you before I die." drea's hand : “I am seriously wounded ; Dying? Ah, no ! it is impossible, come to me directly.' She at once fol. Andrea. I cannot believe it." lowed the boy, cross-questioning him on Dear, the doctor bas told me that I the way as to what had happened. He cannot live bove another hour. It is knew but little ; he told her, however, difficult to speak.” that there had been some drinking, and a He paused for breath, and she moistquarrel in a small, rather low wine-shop ened his lips with a cordial which stood in near the Porta Romana, and that her hus a glass close by. Then she laid her hand band had been wounded—how badly he caressingly on his head-“ Andrea, you could not say. Francesca hurried through will send for a priest ?” the streets, and on arriving at the wine The dying man shook his head. - No ; shop was met by the keeper of it, a low, it is you I want, not a priest. I want to cunning-looking man, who received her tell you something, to ask you to forgive effusively and conducted her into the The blood welled up to his lips, house. A police officer was standing in so that he had to stop once more.

After the room, where signs of the quarrel were a moment he went on. Listen, Franeverywhere apparent in the overturned cesca, I have committed a sin against you, tables and chairs, and pools of spilled a great sin." wine. A man was lying on a bench with "Never mind, Andrea,” she answered his head bandaged. Francesca approached gently ; “I do not want to know it now. him, thinking at first that he was Andrea ; I will forgive you ; we have loved each but the innkeeper laid a hand on her arm, other so well, let us think now of that saying, “ This way ; your husband is in alone.”

Perhaps you will not forgive when



« הקודםהמשך »